The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has overcome daunting trials due to the global pandemic, and even managed an impressive move up the ranks of the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report issued by the University of Pennsylvania. The Center ranked 12th out of 60 research centers in the ‘Energy and Resource Policy Think Tank’ category and placed 15th out of 101 amongst MENA research centers.
Surpassing expectations, KAPSARC realized all its set goals for the year 2020. The numerous achievements and activities held by the Center tackled causes and issues of relevance and importance to Saudi Arabia. This yielded 137 peer-reviewed studies and research articles, 80% of which tackled core energy, economic, and environmental issues. Furthermore, KAPSARC has also published studies that prioritized Covid-19’s implications on both local and global levels.
This accomplishment in the undoubtedly challenging year 2020 only highlights KAPSARC’s progress in the world of think tanks. It is also noteworthy that the amount of research produced in 2020 has exceeded that of the previous ones.
Not only did this pump essential knowledge into the sector’s veins, but it also enriched the Arabic content online since studies are published in both English and Arabic. This certainly places KAPSARC on the map as a pioneering research center. Not only does this benefit native Arabic speakers, but it also serves the scientific community as a whole by increasing the level of exposure for the published papers. This only highlights KAPSARC’s potential as a global knowledge hub accessible to all.
KAPSARC has conducted 17 specialized workshops within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These workshops were done in both the traditional setting (face-to-face) and the virtual one. Over 1,500 individuals benefited from these sessions, which covered several topics correlated with Saudi’s Vision 2030. These include but aren’t limited to whether shale would impede or accelerate the global energy transition, whether utility-scale storage is – potentially – a sleeping giant or a mirage, hydrogen economy and the expansion of its uses, and, most recently, the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), which was endorsed in the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué.
KAPSARC’s vision was founded on the active, growing awareness of its mission and evolving goals, with this being the precursor of a fruitful and high-yielding project with the Think 20 (T20) engagement group within the G20. This was a grand test of our readiness to face an unprecedented series of challenges and tests, which we passed with flying colors.
The culture of sharing knowledge wealth extends beyond KAPSARC’s gates. Qualitative transformation that we strive to sustain and enhance is reflected in the kind of bonds KAPSARC builds with regional and international knowledge partners such as KFUPM, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, the International Association for Energy Economics, as well as the International Energy Forum, and others.
In recognition of young people’s expertise and insights and their potential to transform the future, the Center connected with local universities to work with and train students majoring in relevant fields of study that are in demand. This group constituted more than 50% of the T20. These young men and women have shown unmatched diligence and exceeded all expectations, proving themselves worthy through hard work and intellectual competence.
KAPSARC has refined and collected many lessons throughout the year 2020 and weaved them into its 2021 agenda. This ripples through the Center’s outlook, events, and means of analyzing data. The Center strives to commit to constantly achieving more, for the road ahead holds greater promise. KAPSARC aspires to be a major channel for scientific dialogue that would pave the way to a better quality of life for all stakeholders, and actively serve the Saudi energy system for generations to come.